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40 Recommendations for FATA Elections Reforms by Tribal Leaders (14 March 2013)
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40 Recommendations for FATA Elections Reforms by Tribal Leaders (14 March 2013)

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Political Parties Campaign in Historic FATA Elections. URDU version of the full statement of the FATA Committee is available here: …

Political Parties Campaign in Historic FATA Elections. URDU version of the full statement of the FATA Committee is available here: http://www.slideshare.net/FATAparties/fata-committee-news-release-14-march-2013-urdu ---- For a Microsoft Word version of the press release, visit the following link: http://goo.gl/sJvaw

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  • 1. 40 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FATA ELECTIONS REFORMS From FATA Agency and Frontier Region Political Party Leaders March 14, 2013The Political Parties Joint Committee on FATA Reforms (FATA Committee) convened thisweek 54 political party leaders from the seven agencies and frontier regions of FATA to discussthe realities of campaigning in FATA. 90 percent of these tribal leaders also indicated that the2011 reforms to the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) are not being implemented in their areas.53 political party leaders from 9 political parties from 7 agencies and frontier regions present 40 FATA electionsreforms recommendations for immediate implementation. Link for high resolution photo: http://goo.gl/9eUM6FATA political parties are currently not able to operate freely in many agencies and frontierregions, due to the law and order situation as well as obstacles put in place by the State,including intelligence agencies, political agents, the army, some FATA elite, as well as nationaland international terrorist groups. All of these elements are working against the politicalparticipation of FATA citizens and restrict political parties from visiting their voters.Some of the more pressing consensus recommendations from local leaders included abolishingthe requirement for parties to inform political agents about all party gatherings, an effective banon “selling” party tickets for MNA seats, and an end to the practice by some maliks of selling thevotes of their people. Likewise, leaders called on the FATA elite to stop collaborating with theState to prevent political party activity.40 Recommendations for FATA Elections Reforms, 14 March 2013 1
  • 2. Calling on the ECP to monitor and enforce these regulations, FATA parties warned of thedangerous election environment in NA-42 in South Waziristan and also asked for reassurancefrom the ECP that all registration forms submitted before elections are announced will beincluded in the voter list. Finally, FATA parties clearly indicated that the immediate extension ofPEMRA jurisdiction to FATA is essential for ensuring free and transparent elections in the tribalareas.Following deliberations in Islamabad, tribal leaders from nine of the committee’s eleven politicalparties1 agreed on 40 additional consensus recommendations for free and fair elections in FATAand the effective implementation of previously enacted FATA reforms. These recommendationsrequire immediate consideration and tribal party leaders demanded that many of them be enactedbefore general elections. The recommendations were consensus points, approved by all tribalpolitical party leaders in attendance.FOR IMMEDIATE IMPLEMENTATIONHighlighted and Urgent Recommendations 1) Political parties should be permitted to hold corner meetings without restrictions or advance notice. The requirement of asking permission or notifying the PA for all meetings in advance is not realistic and puts political parties at risk of attack. Large public gatherings or rallies should be notified one week in advance. No permission should be required. 2) Political parties must not “sell” tickets for MNA seats. The Election Commission should implement and enforce a ban on this anti-democratic activity. 3) Many maliks continue to sell the votes of their people for money. This practice should be prohibited by the Election Commission and any “vote buying” activities should be punishable by law, including the disqualification of candidates violating the regulation. 4) No political activity is taking place so far in the NA-42 constituency in South Waziristan. The government should take swift action to ensure that free and fair elections may take place in this constituency. 5) PEMRA jurisdiction should be extended to FATA. Access and security should also be provided to media so that they can enter FATA freely and better cover elections and political parties. 6) FATA elite should be stopped from working together with the State to prevent the free operation of political activity in FATA. 7) All voter registration forms submitted prior to the announcement of elections must be accepted and added to the voter list.1 MQM and PTI party leaders from the agencies and frontier regions could not attend due to scheduling conflicts. Their party leadership, however, did meet with the FATA Committee this week.40 Recommendations for FATA Elections Reforms, 14 March 2013 2
  • 3. 8) Public funds allocated to sitting MNAs must not be utilized for their election campaigns. The Election Commission must enforce a ban on the use of these funds for campaign purposes. FATA MNA and Senator funds should be used only for development schemes and should not be misused for corrupt purposes.FOR IMMEDIATE IMPLEMENTATIONElections Recommendations for ECP and Government 9) The 2011 Political Parties Order extension and Frontier Crimes Regulation amendments are not being implemented properly by the political administration and the security establishment. Implementation should be monitored and enforced by the government. 10) Political parties should be given free and open access and also necessary security to travel to and operate in FATA. 11) To ensure increased women’s participation in elections, women’s polling stations should be provided in all agencies and frontier regions. 12) Polling stations should be no more than 2km from voters’ homes to increase political participation in FATA. 13) Security should be ensured at all polling stations and no polling station should be shifted after being previously established or announced. 14) FATA voters should have access to polling stations in their own village and not be forced to travel to another village to participate in elections. 15) The political parties Code of Conduct published by the Election Commission of Pakistan must also apply to elections in FATA. 16) The ECP must monitor the free and fair administration of elections in FATA. 17) The ECP should make regulations specifically for free and fair elections in FATA. 18) Judicial officers should be deployed as returning officers in general elections. 19) The political agent should support the participation of all FATA society in political activity and the upcoming general elections. 20) All FATA IDPs should be provided the right to vote in the location of their displacement, regardless if they are living in camps or in host communities. 21) IDPs from all frontier regions should be officially recognized by the government and also given the right to vote in the location of their displacement. 22) FATA should also be represented in the federal cabinet of the caretaker government set-up. 23) International observers should be given permission to monitor elections in FATA. 24) The political agent must not show favoritism toward any political party candidate or any independent candidate. 25) The governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa must not interfere in or influence elections in FATA.40 Recommendations for FATA Elections Reforms, 14 March 2013 3
  • 4. 26) All of these recommendations should be implemented and enforced immediately, prior to the day of general elections 2013.FOR IMMEDIATE IMPLEMENTATIONElections Recommendations for Parties, Civil Society, Media and International Community 27) Political parties should include FATA democracy and FATA reforms in their national party manifestoes for general elections. 28) Political awareness remains low throughout FATA. Government, political parties, civil society and the international community should work together to educate FATA citizens about the political process. 29) Many journalists are “for sale”, intimidated and pressured by the State and security establishment. To decrease this corruption and biased reporting, more private media should be given increased access and security in FATA. 30) The government and the Election Commission should investigate journalists who are blackmailing political agents and/or political parties. 31) National and international media should send their own independent journalists to FATA and ensure that they report accurately and in-depth on local problems and news in FATA. 32) The United Nations and other international organizations should make public statements about the lack of human and political rights in FATA.FOR IMPLEMENTATION AFTER ELECTIONSRecommendations for the President, new National Assembly and Political Administration 33) Further amendments to the Frontier Crimes Regulation are needed. 34) Reserved MNA seats for FATA women should be established, giving them the same special representation as in the rest of Pakistan. 35) The frontier regions constituency NA-47 is too large and too spread out for effective representation. The constituency should be divided on the basis of population. 36) Increased CNIC and voter registration efforts are sorely needed in FATA. NADRA should deploy mobile registration vans: as many and as soon as possible. 37) Blocked CNICs of FATA citizens should be unblocked with the approval of tribal elders. 38) Corruption by political agents must be investigated and stopped. Political agent appointments are “for sale” in FATA and this practice must be stopped. 39) Political agents should expedite the issuance of birth, death, marriage and disability certificates to FATA citizens. These services are very poorly administered and must be improved. 40) The army is part of the problem, not part of the solution. The security establishment should stop its involvement with terrorist and militant organizations.40 Recommendations for FATA Elections Reforms, 14 March 2013 4
  • 5. These recommendations will be submitted for immediate consideration and action to the newcaretaker government as well as the President of Pakistan, the Election Commission, NADRA,the SAFRON Ministry, the governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the FATA Secretariat.Unlike the rest of Pakistan, FATA voters do not enjoy the same legislative representation oraccountability as other Pakistani citizens. This is true because Article 247 of the Constitution ofthe Islamic Republic of Pakistan prevents FATA MNAs (and all members of the NationalAssembly) from legislating for FATA. Despite this restriction on political rights and until thesituation is corrected, FATA citizens still deserve MNAs that represent their needs and desiresfor democratic development and an improved standard of living.As they prepare to participate in the first party-based elections in FATA history, national andtribal political party leaders emphasized the urgent need for elections reforms in FATA.Following the extension of the Political Parties Order, political parties are seeking election in thetribal areas for the first time in history. As general elections approach, political party candidatesare actively preparing their campaigns for MNA seats to represent FATA voters in the NationalAssembly of Pakistan.With complete support from political party leadership, 11 political parties are represented on theFATA Committee: Awami National Party (ANP), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam F(JUI-F), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), National Party (NP), Pashtoonkhwa Milli AwamiParty (PkMAP), Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam (PML), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Qaumi WatanParty (QWP).In 2010, the Political Parties Joint Committee on FATA Reforms began working together todemonstrate their shared commitment to promoting debate throughout Pakistan and to call forthe implementation of reforms in the tribal areas. Today, the 11 member parties of the FATACommittee continue to engage in discussions with stakeholders from FATA to build consensus,increase awareness and promote dialogue on existing and future reforms.March 17, 2013 FATA Committee News Release Photos (high resolution)FATA Elections Reforms Needed Now http://goo.gl/JgLM1English: http://goo.gl/8eA29Urdu: http://goo.gl/R2Sxc Contact fataparties@gmail.comDecember 27, 2012 Recommendations to ECP http://twitter.com/FATApartiesFive Consensus Elections Reforms http://facebook.com/FATApartiesEnglish: http://goo.gl/ObTUDUrdu: http://goo.gl/QhAA140 Recommendations for FATA Elections Reforms, 14 March 2013 5
  • 6. FATA Committee Party Spokesperson ContactsANPArbab Tahir, General Secretary, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 0333-939-3223, arbab@anp.orgJIMohammad Ibrahim, Professor and Provincial Ameer, muhammadibrahimk5@gmail.comJUI-FAbdul Jalil Jan, Information Secretary, KP, 0333-910-7831, abduljalil_jan@yahoo.comMQMSyed Asif Hasnain, MNA, 0300-927-7831, asifhasnain_255@yahoo.comNPMukhtar Bacha, Provincial President, KP, 0333-910-7133, mukhtarbacha@gmail.comPkMAPAkram Shah Khan, Central Secretary GeneralPMLAjmal Khan Wazir, Central Senior Vice President, 0300-579-1779, ajmalkwazir@gmail.comPML-NRehmat Salam Khattak, General Secretary, KP, 0300-589-3705, pmlnkpk@gmail.comPPPMirza M. Jihadi, Advisor SAFRON, 0300-598-4198, mirzamohdjihad@hotmail.comPTIBarrister Salman Afridi, Political Strategy Committee KP, 0345-888-6994, salmanafridi@hotmail.comQWPAsad Afridi, President, FATA, 0333-937-5165, asadafridi18@yahoo.comComplete FATA Committee Member List: http://goo.gl/K0FCJ (click and scroll down)40 Recommendations for FATA Elections Reforms, 14 March 2013 6